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Evening Symposium on Byzantine Hymnody

Evening Symposium on Byzantine Hymnody

The College was honoured to host the visiting Orthodox scholar and Athonite monk, Fr Damaskinos (Jaakko Olkinuora) of Xenophontos Monastery, on 19 August for an evening symposium on the theme “Byzantine Hymnody: Past, Present and Future”. His keynote address entitled ‘Listening and Singing in the Church’ was followed by a musical interlude by members of Melisma Ensemble and then a panel discussion with representatives from the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese Choir (Deacon Phillip Saba), the Australian Byzantine Choir (Mr George Scoufis), Melisma Ensemble (Dr Dimitri Koubaroulis), St John of Damascus Choir Adelaide (Mr John Saredakis) and the Sydney School of Byzantine Chant (Mr Andrew Psarommatis). Dr Andrew Mellas, a sessional lecturer in Byzantine Studies at St Andrew’s, was the MC for the evening.

Father Damaskinos is a member of the Department of Theology of the University of Eastern Finland and a monk of the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos on Mount Athos. His research interests include both musicology, especially the adaptation of Byzantine chant into Finnish, and patristics, especially the liturgical literature of the Middle Byzantine period. He is a polyglot with fluency in Finnish, Swedish, English and Greek, and competency in several other modern and ancient languages.

A video recording featuring the keynote address, musical interlude, and the panel discussion, is available on the College’s YouTube channel.

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